Local grocers trying out new format for growing clientele

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KLTV) - Major retailers across the nation, like Wal-mart, are trying out new store formats called supermercados. The stores will be aimed at Hispanic shoppers. But the new move could effect local grocers and how they conduct business, as well.

Retailers across the nation are getting in line to cater to the Hispanic community and East Texas grocers aren't backing away.

"They're a big part of our clientele," said Gloria McDonald, the director of public relations for Brookshire Brothers. "They're part of us and so we just want to make sure that we have the items that they need."

She said Brookshire Brothers gives shoppers the best of both worlds - a chance to get products from Mexico and from here in the states.

Brookshire Brothers said they are always looking for products to reach out to the Hispanic market.

McDonald said if major retailers like Wal-mart try to move in and compete, they're not afraid of a challenge.

"Competition is a good thing," said McDonald.

And La Michoacana Meat Market says they will be just fine.

"We have direct contact with the main warehouses in Mexico," said Marco Morales, the assistant manager of Lufkin's La Michoacana Meat Mark.

And his customers say the low prices are a plus.

"The majority of people that want to save money come here," said Beverly Truett, a shopper. "And plus, I mean if you like Mexican food, you can come in here and buy all you need and you don't have to go anywhere else."

All grocers want to be the one-stop shop, but some customers know that's not reality.

"Everybody shops at Brookshire's and they shop here too," said Truett.

But, Morales says low prices will give them the edge.

"We know what they're looking for," said Morales. "We know the key foods for preparation for the Mexican kitchen. We know everything. We don't have to send people out there, no, and take some surveys. We know exactly what these guys are looking for."

La Michoacana Meat Market says they are now getting ready to open up stores out of state.

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